Rod Blagojevich

Photo: Flickr

A federal jury has convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of 17 of 20 counts relating to bribery, corruption and wire fraud during his time in office.Eleven of the charges stemmed from Blagojevich’s attempt to sell the seat vacated by Barack Obama after the 2008 Presidential election, and three related his attempt to extort a Chicago children’s hospital.

Most of the charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

After 10 days of deliberations, the jury deadlocked on two of the charges, and acquitted him of one charge of soliciting a bribe from the Illinois Tollway.

Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office by the Illinois state legislature in 2009.

After the verdict was read, the disgraced former governor turned to his wife Patti and whispered, “I love you.” He told reporters in a brief statement that he is “very disappointed” and “stunned” by the verdict.

As he entered the courthouse, Blagojevich told the assembled press that “It’s in God’s hands.”

“My hands are shaking, my knees are weak,” he said.

Last year another jury deadlocked on 23 of 24 charges against him, convicting him only of lying to the FBI, for which he faces five years in prison. 

U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel will sentence Blagojevich on August 1. In the meantime, he will be allowed to return home with travel restrictions — putting his home up as bond.

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